The ATM as a marketing platform - are you making the most of it?

By : Neill Malcolm Harris

May 11, 2017 12:00 PM

Today's ATM devices offer much more than just an easy way for consumers to deposit or withdraw cash and check their balances. As well as the wide range of functionality ATMs can offer to consumers; they can also act as another way to potentially create revenue for financial institutions by acting as another marketing platform.


The concept of using an ATM as a billboard for showcasing services - or even as a host for third-party advertisements - is far from new, but with the advanced capabilities of today's technology, banks are now able to do this in a much more engaging, personalized way than ever before.


The latest ATM solutions can offer a much more appealing experience, increasing their value as marketing platforms, designed to attract consumers. NCR's SelfServ 80 Series, for example, offers either 15-inch or 19-inch color multi-touch displays, and so enables banks to be much more striking in how they present their messaging.


Delivering personalized offerings
To really make the most of the ATM as a marketing platform, banks need to make sure they're offering relevant, targeted messages in order to get the best conversion rate. This starts as soon as an individual enters their PIN, as they can then be shown messages that relate to them based on the information a bank knows about its customers.


Data such as demographics, personal preferences, account balance, lifetime value and what previous products they have applied for can all help inform this. So, for example, a solution may be able to analyze a customer's data and determine if they qualify for a low interest rate on a certain offering, which can then be presented to them at the ATM.


If they are not a customer, the ATM operators can still use the Banking Identification Number to deliver a refined message to compete with the cardholder’s current financial institution and help bring more new customers to a bank.


Reacting in real time
But the key to success here is how banks react and adapt their marketing based on an individual's response. If a customer shows no interest in the message they receive, it is pointless to keep showing it the next time they use an ATM. But the right solutions allow a bank to rotate messages to ensure users are shown something different next time.


This can be combined with real-time analytics that can inform a financial institution about what messaging are working and which are not, further allowing them to refine and improve their offerings in order to drive more conversions.


How to deliver the right results
Of course, effective ATM marketing isn't just about the content of the messaging, but how it's delivered. Banks may have a captive audience at the ATM who will always be paying attention to what's presented to them on screen, but these activities shouldn't interrupt or distract from the overall customer experience.


So, for instance, it's important to understand the most appropriate point in the transaction to display messages. While waiting for PIN information to be verified or when cash is being counted are good opportunities, as they will not delay the customer's journey in order to display marketing. Messaging also needs to be short, direct and to the point - ATM users won't appreciate it if they feel they're being held up simply so they can be marketed to.


Get it right, however, and banks have a great opportunity to speak directly to their customers. And as more people turn to capable self-service devices rather than the counter, it could become a more important way of getting marketing messages to customers in the coming years.

Neill Malcolm Harris

NCR Product Marketing Dir. for ATM Solutions

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Neill drives marketing for NCR’s ATM solution portfolio. He travels extensively to many of the World’s leading banks and financial Institutions, articulating how SelfService technology and innovation can inform and support strategies and solve challenges.